Burlington County Community Mourns As Historic Church Falls Victim to Devastating Fire

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Devastating fire eats up the historic church in Burlington County as the community mourns for the loss of their place of worship. Recently, several reports of church fires have risen in the headlines; some are suspected arson, and others are merely accidents.

In Burlington, New Jersey, the Fountain of Life Center experienced an eight-alarm fire on Monday night. At after 6 o'clock in the evening, personnel were called to the church on Columbus Road.

Devastating Fire Burns up Church in Burlington County

According to CBS News, over 100 emergency teams from five counties in New Jersey tried to put out the flames and heavy smoke that consumed the church. Russell Hodgins, senior pastor at the Fountain of Life Center, has expressed his sadness, saying it was a "devastating loss" for their community.

The flames overwhelmed the entire front part of the church, and the roof eventually collapsed. Robert Tharp, the Florence Township Fire District administrator, has commended the firefighters for their efforts to stop the fire to spread interiorly. But with the size of the building and the amount of fire present, the firefighter still had to switch to a defensive operation. The cause of the fire is still unknown and is still being investigated.

There are no injuries reported as of now. The center has canceled classes for about 300 students until further notice. Firefighters are working to prevent the flames from spreading to a nearby K-12 school building. The student ministries pastor, Matthew Boudwin, expressed hope that the fire wouldn't affect the link between the church building auditorium and the school.

According to another source, as of around 9 p.m., firefighters attempted to prevent the fire by spraying water on a hallway connecting the two buildings. According to Burlington County Times, the flames had consumed most of the interior, and the roof had already collapsed, leaving behind the twisted metal. Portable ponds were set up near the parking lot to provide firefighters with more water to put out the fire.

The scene was surrounded by a lot of emergency vehicles with flashing lights, and around 100 residents and passersby had gathered to observe the situation. Lisa DeLucia from Florence, who had wanted to get married at the church last fall but couldn't due to prior bookings, expressed her sadness and disappointment at the destruction.

Also Read: Fayetteville Pastor Leads Efforts to Rebuild Christian Academy After New Year's Fire at New Life Bible Church

Community Church Members Deeply Affected by the Tragic Incident

The Fountain of Life Center fire has deeply affected the church community. According to NBC10 Philadelphia, William Jackson, a church member, expressed his sadness as he called it "heartbreaking" and "heavy." The intensity of the flames caused the roof of the church to collapse, along with the iconic cross on top of it.

James Brown, another church member, described the cross as a symbol known in the area for decades and always assumed to be a permanent fixture. The Fountain of Life Center is a large church that can accommodate up to 3,000 people and has another location in Trenton, New Jersey.

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